With so much happening on the site lately, I figured I’d do a big dump of updates. In particular, I’d like to let everyone know about some of my biggest changes including the addition of the last updated date and some updates to the membership site (i.e. MemberPress).
Table of Contents
It’s currently February 8th, 2019, and I have a backlog of 11 articles which means this update won’t be hitting you until nearly the end of March. That said, I thought it was important to document some of these changes for my own sake. In particular, there were two major changes made in the last month:
- I added a last updated date to all posts to try to indicate that I do clean up articles every now and then.
- I converted from the free Simple Membership Plugin to the premium MemberPress plugin.
To you, those may seem like simple changes, but they’re a huge deal to me. As a result, it only makes sense to write about them.
Last Updated Date
Something I had been struggling with for awhile was finding ways to make my content seem fresh to users. After all, my website is officially over two years old, so some content is starting to seem stale.
Unfortunately, I like to write tech curriculum which isn’t exactly evergreen. In fact, a lot of people will only read tutorials if they’re new, and I think that makes a lot of sense. Why read an article if it’s not going to share the solution using the latest version of some platform? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Stack Overflow only to snag some code that doesn’t work (i.e. Python 2 vs. Python 3).
As a result, I did a bit of research to see if adding a last updated date to my posts would be a good idea. After all, I don’t really care about the SEO effects. I’m more interested in not turning away users who might think my content is stale.
To do this, I added the WP Last Modified Info plugin which is actually really nice. In fact, I didn’t even need a majority of the features. I just wanted something simple and clean, and this plugin gave me that.
If you haven’t noticed yet, you should start seeing these gray boxes appearing under the featured images of older posts. In these boxes, you’ll find some text that reads “Last Updated on MONTH DAY, YEAR.” That’s it!
If you’ve been following along, I’ve tried just about everything to make a buck on this site. Patreon, Amazon Affiliate, Quora, Google Ads, WooCommerce, etc. You name it; I’ve probably tried it.
Well eventually I settled on the low risk, high reward solution: a membership site. Beyond sacrificing SEO on a handful of posts, I didn’t really have to do anything extra to be successful.
For awhile, I was using the Simple Membership plugin, and it’s probably the best free plugin of its kind. Unfortunately, it’s extremely clunky, and it requires a lot of plugins to get it working.
Over time, I decided I needed something a bit more robust, so I chose to pull the trigger on MemberPress. So far, I’m very happy with the plugin. It’s much better than anything I’ve used in the past.
For starters, it’s simple. It takes care of hiding content that needs to be hidden and showing content that doesn’t. In fact, I took the opportunity to start tagging free and premium content, so you can see exactly what you’re missing.
In addition, MemberPress allows you to make different membership tiers and keep them together or separate. It also allows you to accept various payment types, and you can track all of your subscriptions directly in WordPress.
As an added bonus, users get a new and improved account profile where they can see their current subscription and access the content their tier gives them.
Overall, I’m very happy with this plugin, and I hope it draws in even more subscriptions.
As always, I like to change and improve my website over time. So if there’s something you’d like to see in the future, let me know! I hope these changes from today have improved your overall experience with the site. If not, feel free to let me know that as well.
Every year, I like to reevaluate where the site is at, if for no other reason than to track my progress.
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